tl;dr We're looking to correct our rating and ranking system. On everyones profile you'll find the estimated new rating and ranking for that user, it will be under their current rating and rank:
Please check out not only your own rating and ranking, but peer ratings and rankings (that is, players who you think you have a good feel for being equal, stronger, or weaker to that of your own rank), and let us know how things look.
Also, it's not a good idea to adjust your rank now in an attempt to outsmart the upcoming adjustment. The adjustment system takes into account a lot of factors when determining a starting position, including any manual rank changes you've made, so the results are going to be notably less predictable than one might hope if manual changes are made in an attempt to land yourself at a particular spot after the adjustment.
If after the adjustment you find your rank is pretty far off, contact a mod, myself, or matburt, and we'll get you squared away with something more appropriate. But please bring up any perceived problems now as opposed to just waiting until after the update, this way we can look into your case and see if there are any abnormal things biasing you one way or another.
The ranks at OGS have been severely depressed for a long time now. There are several causes for this, all of which play a factor, here are several that we've identified as being notable contributors to the problem, either directly or indirectly.
The ELO/GoR ranking system is a zero sum system, this means if everyone starts off at 30k, the average rank will always be 30k. In both "the old" and "the new" OGS, while you could select and change your rank, it was very common for folks to just leave rank at 30k and "let the system figure it out". With no substantial way to inject points into the system, this is the number one reason why our ranks are depressed.
When people transfer in from other servers, if they pick a rank at all it seems more common than not to sandbag a little, as they don't want to start off too hard. This problem is only compounded by the fact that OGS has a reputation for having depressed ranks.
We use a ranking system starting at 30k. KGS and IGS use ranking systems from
20k 30k (but seems to bias heavily towards 20k+?) and 17k respectively, which makes transfers in from those servers harder to place correctly within our system, particularly at the lower kyu levels, which we believe increases the likelihood someone will either pick 30k as their starting point, or lowball their rank.
There have been several instances where very active (and pretty good) players have, for one reason or another, timed out on dozens of games they had going on, which decimated their rank. Many of these players came back to the site and continued playing with their new ranking, which meant they would naturally drag down everyone else as a result. (While this isn't a huge number of instances, the players that were drug down far enough for this to matter were prolific enough players that they did actually have an impact on the system as a whole.)
We are proposing the following adjustments and changes to attempt to find a happy medium for solving our ranking problem while still remaining very beginner friendly.
We don't want to take the approach of dropping everyone in the middle of the ranking system and let new players get slaughtered, so in order to solve the beginner start problem we will begin injecting points into the system by scaling back the K factor in the EGF GoR function for the losing player, dependent on their rating. In layman's terms, beginners won't lose as many points when they lose a game as they will gain when they win a game. Intuitively, this makes sense as beginners playing each other can increase in skill greatly even from a loss, so their ratings shouldn't plummet from a single loss. We will also be capping the K factor at 122 for ranks less than 20k, as this seems to improve results in our case. Our proposed scaling looks like this:
Reading the graph, it's telling us that the number of points injected into the system will be substantial in the lower ranks, but demish fairly quickly as you approach the SDK's and beyond.
Players who timeout of a correspondence game will be flagged. Their ratings will be adjusted normally for the first timeout, however if they timeout of any more correspondence games while the flag is set we will no longer ding their rating, protecting them and the system from mass timeouts. Players with this flag set will not be able to join correspondence tournaments or ladders until they clear the flag by completing a ranked correspondence game over the course of at least two days with some kind player willing to give them another chance.
We will be targeting a 20k+ rating system to be more compatible with KGS/IGS/EGF/AGA. Brand new players will begin at 25k, and with the help of the rating injection system should be pushed into the 20k+ "normal" pool at what we hope will be a fairly natural pace, and without dragging down the ranks because we will be adding in points as they go along to account for the fact that they are starting at 25k instead of the system average. We will also be restricting player's ability to manually change their ranks below 20k after they've signed up, hopefully allowing us to maintain a safe zone for new players in the system, but naturally graduating them to the larger pool of 20k+ as they become ready.
To boost the system up into the 20k base range we'll be injecting a lot of points and recomputing everyones rating based on the ranked games they've played in the past that have not been correspondence timeouts.
The following graphs show the distribution of players who have played more than 5 ranked, non correspondence timeout, games on OGS. We are starting with a heavily bias graph that looks like this:
After injecting some base points and recomputing players ratings based on the new rules (points injection, discounting corr. timeouts), the resulting distribution looks like this:
With an average rank increase looking like this:
Additionally, the ability to predict the outcome of a game based on relative skill increased from 69.47% to 71.91%. While this is not a significant change, our goal with this adjustment is to ensure that after the rating adjustment the ability for a player to find a well matched game based on rating should hopefully be better, but certainly no worse than what they can find presently. We believe this value tells us this will be the case more often than not.
This is a big adjustment and will squish the ranks together a bit. There will likely be a bit of a correction period right after the adjustment, but we're hoping to make this process as smooth as possible, and for it to result in a better system as soon as possible. Especially if you are in the bottom ranks, it may look like you are being propelled far beyond your skill, but so long as you end up near the same rank as your peers, all should be well. So please take a look at where things landed for you and your friends and let us know how it holds up, good or bad.
Also, please refrain from making suggestions to switch to alternative rating systems (glicko 1/2, aga, kgs, whr, etc..) in this thread.